Sundays at home

I love Sundays. They are productive, loose, endless, and all my own. Yesterday was no exception. We are still starting the days with frosts so I am yet to put this summer’s frost tender seedlings in the ground. They are slowly coming on outside our laundry door which faces north. I have tried planting seeds in reconstituted coir this year. It has the perfect texture but lacking in goodness. Really need to make some nettle compost tea to feed them and see if that improves things. But even without planting, there are a mountain of jobs to do.

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My garden area was once a paddock, so is full of grasses and weeds threatening (and generally succeeding) to take over the veggie beds. One bed is dedicated to potatoes, and the other three I try to rotate as much as possible. Nettle grows in all of them, very successfully. I plant between the rows, usually pumpkin, or melons, or cucumber, in the patches that have been piled with weed matter over the previous seasons and so are developing quite rich, workable soil. I find these plants provide really good ground coverage so do the job of controlling weeds all on their own. I planted artichokes towards the end of last summer and they are finally producing. I’m really looking forward to trying my first fresh artichokes.

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I have been picking broadbeans, cabbages, chard and silverbeet, beetroot, carrots, some celery (that has not been too frost damaged), herbs, fennel, purple and romanesca cauliflower, which had unfortunately bolted, and I dig out a few potatoes as we need them. I was a bit late covering the potatoes with mulch last summer – mostly due to a shortage in hay and straw – so they didn’t produce a big crop like they normally would. This year I am hoping they will do better.

Yesterdays job was to erect the tomato trellises, plant peas and bean seeds, and finally pull out the hip height blanket of rocket. When that goes to seed, my goodness it does take over! It had mostly finished flowering so I didn’t feel I was robbing the bees of a feed. They need to make way for this seasons silverbeet and chard. I have been able to plant the peas and beans up a trellis on the periphery of the garden bed. The soil is rich and black there from almost 5 years of throwing spent bean vines.

It is really a spectacular mess in my garden, but produces so well I accept the mess as part and parcel of a healthy garden ecology.

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The weather yesterday was just beautiful. The light was golden and warm and heavy with the scent of flowering lilac. I love to keep flowers on the plants as they always last so much longer that way, but can’t resist bringing some inside. Lilac flowers for such a short time, so I really savour that scent while it lasts. Ignore the dirty windows in the photo – just focus on the lilac!

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The kitchen always sees a lot of action on Sundays. I baked anzac biscuits and choc chip biscuits for the school lunch boxes, 3 loaves of bread (the oven is so unrealiable, so I ended up taking them out a tad early – they are still edible, but definitely a bit doughy). Pancakes for breakfast, rhubarb and apple crumble with egg custard for dessert, and roast lamb and veggies for in between, because food without sugar is important too!

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I will look forward to this Sunday too, and the promise of more projects and gardening and baking and enjoying being at home.

How do you spend your Sundays?

 

2 thoughts on “Sundays at home

  1. Your garden sounds amazing. You are sound like you have an amazing selection of veggies as you head into spring. I know you have written on here before about the nettles but if they grow in such abundance you must have good soil! I hope you have found a way to keep them in check a little.

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    1. Haha yes I am a bit of a broken record about the nettles! The soil originally came from the cattle yards so jam packed with manure, and nettle seeds! I am trying to grow crops that take up the minerals that nettle thrive in (phophorus, potassium from memory) – brassicas, tomatoes, legumes – though I find legumes don’t do that good a job. And just weeding, getting stung through long pants and shirt sleeves – brutal stuff! Something very satisfying about growing your own veg – I do get an enormous kick out of it

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